For the third time this season and second time in the last month, the Seahawks and 49ers will square off in a familiar divisional rivalry that has been fairly one-sided this season.
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San Francisco swept the season series with two wins by a combined 28 points and is viewed as a significant home favorite after the NFL’s longest winning streak. Can Seattle keep it close with one of the best teams in the NFC?
Here’s how we’re betting on Saturday’s NFL playoff contest, which kicks off at 4:40 p.m. ET on Fox.
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49ers vs. Seahawks pick
49ers vs. Seahawks prediction and analysis
It seems like all the attention heading into this postseason (and, frankly, all season) has been on the Chiefs, Bills and Eagles, and even the Bengals after their AFC-best eight-game winning streak. However, the hottest team in the league is San Francisco, which just keeps chopping wood amid a dominant 10-game winning streak to close out the regular season.
The 49ers aren’t just squeaking out wins, either. Seven of those 10 wins have been by double digits, including a 25-point victory to close the year, and they’ve outscored teams by an NFL-best 16 points since Nov. 1. For context: the 2007 Patriots, owners of the best scoring differential in league history, outscored teams by 19.7 points per game.
Rookie Brock Purdy has done the best Tom Brady impression over the last six weeks, averaging 218 passing yards with a 65.6 QBR on the year – which would rank fifth among all starters over the course of the season. He’s also thrown 13 touchdowns on just three interceptions over that stretch and was nearly perfect (141.2 passer rating) in his most recent start, throwing three touchdowns with zero turnovers to extend this team’s long streak.
It helps when he’s surrounded by arguably the best collection of skill-position talent in the league and the NFL’s most stifling defense, which ranks first in average yards allowed (300.6) and points allowed (16.3). San Francisco also leads the league in turnover margin (+13) and scoring margin (+173) and ranks second in overall DVOA. In short: this team is an absolute juggernaut, even with a rookie quarterback under center.
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Instead, the Seahawks have found incredible success this year behind revamped pass rusher Geno Smith, who briefly flirted with MVP consideration after a hot start to the season. Up in the second half of the regular season, though, throwing seven INTs in his last eight starts amid Seattle’s 3-5 tailspin.
Smith has particularly struggled in two games against the 49ers this year. He was held without a touchdown in Week 2 in Seattle’s worst offensive performance of the season (7 points) and needed only 44 carries for 238 yards and a score in that 21-13 loss in Week 15. On the flip side? Purdy threw for 217 yards and two TDs in his first road start, even with Deebo Samuel sidelined for that win.
Samuel returned last week for the Niners and would be ready to go this weekend, making this an even tougher task for the Seahawks to overcome. I just don’t see what changes in Saturday’s matchup from what we saw in the regular season — both when these teams played and their overall body of work, with Seattle sinking to 1-7 against the spread and the 49ers riding a 8-2 ATS run.
There really isn’t much to get excited about on the Seattle side other than the big number. That doesn’t mean much against a team that routinely wins by double digits. San Francisco is 4-2 ATS this year when scoring a touchdown or more, and should quickly make a familiar foe in this one.
49ers vs. Seahawks Odds (via BetMGM)
- 49ers -9.5 (-110), moneyline -500
- Seahawks +9.5 (-110), moneyline +375
- O/U 42.5 (-110)